The Messerschmitt Bf-109 has to be the most iconic aircraft of all time. It evokes primal feelings in the hearts of modelers everywhere. How else can you explain the outcry when Eduard first released their Bf-109G-6? There were scale issues, some shape issues, and accuracy issues. Coming on the heels of Eduard’s Spitfires and MiG-21s, there was high expectations. Those expectations were dashed and all hope was lost. Until Eduard decided to take the high road and retool the entire model. Is this latest incarnation from Eduard everything that we have come to hope for? Let’s find out.
Packaged in sturdy top opening box. First off everything about this model is new with nothing, NOTHING, left from the original kit. The modeler is treated to four sprues of light grey plastic with recessed panel lines and restrained rivets. Some are incorrectly placed such as on the wingtip panels and some very minor ones on the cowl bulges. This is in no way to say that I don’t like them. I love the look of the rivets. It is easy to fill the rivets and sand smooth. Some of the nice things in the plastic is the inclusion of three tails and two upper cowlings.
The instructions are printed on high quality paper in the typical Eduard booklet style. The pictures are helpful and easy to understand. You will have to decide which aircraft to build before you begin to know which things to do. The full color profiles are beautifully done. The last page contains the stenciling. I did notice that all the underwing crosses are in the outside position. You may want to check your references. Gabler’s aircraft is also shown with RLM75 upper wings. That is open to interpretation.
A sprue of clear plastic is included. The plastic is thin and crystal clear. There are three forward canopies, three Erla canopies, and two middle canopy sections, including one for the pressurized version, and two armored panels. One of the nicest things is the inclusion of the clear fuel line.
The ProfiPack contains a photo etch fret with the exquisite pre-painted instrument panel and seat belts/shoulder harness.
Decals for five aircraft are included. The selection has a bunch of options for everybody, from Gabler’s all metal aircraft to the ‘normal’ RLM 74/75/76 aircraft and even an all RLM 76 one. The decals are printed on two separate sheets by Eduard. The first one contains the markings individual aircraft. The decal that stands out on the sheet is a nice rendering of the intricate pattern on the tail of Gabler’s aircraft, making this aircraft much easier to do. The other sheet is a stencil sheet for one aircraft.
Now that we’ve seen what’s in the box the important thing is how does it build up? Let’s see.
The very first thing to do is to decide which version you are going to build. I elected to build the JG-5 machine. I’ve always liked it and a green spinner with the white spiral which may or may not been fitted adds just the right amount of color. So Option C was my subject aircraft.
I had to review the Brassin cockpit set but I elected to build up the kit offering as well. I was impressed with the level of detail. Comparisons with the older Eduard G-6 are inevitable, so with that said, this cockpit is more complete out of the box than the previous offering. Even if you didn’t have the photo etch parts it is very nice and complete. The amount of photo etch is perfectly employed. The pre-printed instrument panel was easy to put together and looks the part. The only thing that needs to be done is careful painting. The pre-painted seatbelts and shoulder harnesses are a nice addition and will be the only thing missing from a weekend edition of this kit. Everything fit perfectly in the cockpit area. Don’t forget to open the two holes on top for the canopy retainer on the back deck. The clear piece fuel line is a nice touch.
The fuselage comes together really nice. If you use the Brassin exhausts you have to add the internal parts and if you use the kit exhausts which are also nice and hollowed out you have to add them now. You will have to fill the appropriate access panels. The fit of the fuselage together is really nice. I did need some filler on the area in front of the canopy and under the nose. Nothing too dramatic and it was probably my fault that it didn’t line up. The insert for the gun cowling is perfect as are the cowl bulges. I left off the guns at this time. I’ll add them after painting. I did notice on the bottom of the fuselage that the access panel line was not uniform and required some rescribing.
The horizontal and vertical tails were built up and of course they fit perfectly.
The wings require you to open up the locating holes for the gun gondolas, drop tank and wing antenna if you are going to use them. Don’t forget. I found that if you remove the front mounting lugs on the wing center section the drop tank rack will fit better. The fit of the wings themselves is perfect and cleanup is easy. Some care is required to build the wheel well liners. I didn’t have any trouble with mine. They made sense to me and it was easy to add and they build up perfectly. The wings were offered up to the fuselage and they fit well, but not perfectly. I did need to fill this seam. Strangely Eduard didn’t make the parts break on a panel, but in a strangely Y shaped join. Why they did this I have no idea. The whole model is designed perfectly and fit perfectly so the panel line would have been no problem.
I tried something else that is unique. I attached the lower inboard flaps to the fairing and held them in place with tweezers. That ensured that they were properly attached and hopefully at the same angle. The angle set by Eduard.
I added the front portion of the canopy at this time and used the Eduard EZ Masks for it. They fit perfectly as I expected them to. The cockpit area was sprayed with AK RLM66.
A quick coat of Alclad Grey Primer was added to check for flaws and surprisingly there was only one seam that needed to be readdressed. I preshaded the whole model with Tamiya NATO Black and afterwards sprayed the entire bottom and sides in AK RLM 76. This was a nice color. I used some Model Master Acrylic RLM 76 for variations as it is noticeably lighter in color than the AK.
Prior to adding the landing gear, I pre-shaded them with Tamiya NATO Black and oversprayed them with AK RLM02. Some Chrome Bare Metal Foil was added to the struts. I like to add my landing gear now. It just makes everything easier with decals and handling. The landing gear fit perfectly and seem to establish the proper stance fore and aft as well as laterally. Much better than the previous Gustav model.
A coat of Future with a drop or two of Tamiya thinner, to break up the surface tension of the Future, was sprayed over the whole model. After drying overnight it was time to add the decals. Eduard has elected to print their own decals now. The decals are very thin and in perfect register. I did notice that when the decals are added over the red on my one model that they weren’t as opaque as I would have hoped. Because they are so thin, I just added another decal over the offending decal and was happy. Now a word of CAUTION: Eduard decals are very thin and they like to curl on you. Also if you don’t have a gloss finish they will adhere almost immediately. You must use a large amount of water to get them to move around, so make sure you have them in place when you place them. I ended up ruining two of the underwing crosses and one number decal. Again because I was building two kits I had extra decals, but it could have been an issue. On the plus side, the decals did not need any setting solution to adhere flawlessly to the model. The carrier film literally disappeared. I sealed the decals with another coat of Future but it was more to protect the decals during the weathering stage than to unify the finish. The decals were perfect once in place. A coat of Alclad Flat was sprayed over everything to prepare the model for weathering.
Weathering was my typical arrangement. I start with a white and buff artist oils dot filters applied to distress and fade the colors. I use a broad brush with a small amount of turpenoid to blend the colors into the paint. I add a little burnt umber dots near the exhausts and any place that would be grimy. Then a light wash of burnt umber artist oils in the panel lines wears the model even further. Chipping is the next step. For this I use a piece of brillo pad lightly dipped onto a Stampin Up silver stamp pad. This is followed up with some precise chipping with a silver and a #2 pencil. The wing root and leading edge get the most wear so that is where you notice it but some chipping is added over the entire airframe. A light dusting of heavily thinned Tamiya Buff is painted front to back on the wings and tail and vertically on the fuselage. This gives a dirt appearance to the airframe. Exhaust and gun stains were added with a variety of Mig Pigments. I started with Vietnam Earth followed by some Black Smoke. I used a small amount and build it up slowly with wide brush. Artist oils were used to replicate the oil streaks on the belly and various areas. Special attention was paid to the drop tank and area. The final thing is adding the mud. I applied it to the wheels, wing root where the crew would stand and along the rudder. It was affixed with Mig’s Pigment thinner.
With that it was just a matter of finishing up the canopy parts from the Brassin set. Then some small parts here and there were added. Antennas were added and with that the model was done.
First off let me say kudos to Eduard for redoing the whole kit and they did redo the whole airframe. Is it perfect? Not quite but in my opinion it is the best Bf-109G-6 in any scale now. We had to wait for it but this is the model we should have gotten the first time. This time we got a winner with a lot less fanfare than the original. The model builds up easily and looks every bit of a 109G-6. This particular boxing allows you to build either a G-5, G-6 or a G-14. All the parts are in there. The only thing missing is the canopy masks for the three piece canopy sections.
Is it perfect? Not quite but pretty close. The one thing that I was a little disappointed in is that Eduard molded the wingtip lights as part of the wing. It would have been better to have that piece as a clear piece like the real thing. It would be nice to have the inner flaps in a variety of positions. Maybe the aftermarket people will take care of that. Also the decals are really sticky so you’ve been warned. They do perform flawlessly when applied with lots of water. Other than that I can’t think of another negative comment. The decals aren’t really a negative comment but a word of caution. The other annoying thing is the breakdown of the wings to fuselage instead of using a panel line Eduard elected to make a V cut in the middle of a panel that would inevitably need filler for a perfect fit. The rest of the model fit perfectly so I’m sure they could have that panel perfect. It is not a big deal but it will require a slight bit of filling.
On the plus side, the fit is near perfect throughout with just a smidgeon of putty needed. The rivets are nicely done and very restrained. Whether you like them or not is a matter of taste, but I for one love them. The addition of the canopy masks and photo etch makes these kits real gems. I love the pre-painted instrument photo etch panel. The canopy masks make that whole chore as easy as it can be.
What is nice is that the kit can be built out of the box with a complete interior, unlike the early release. Even in the Weekend and Overtrees Editions these kits are winners.
The added detail contained in the Brassin range is nice if you want to add it.
I have already bought two more kits and am willing to part with my Hasegawa kits if you are interested. Does that say anything about my building experience with this kit? The Bf-109G-6 has come into the 21st Century and the future looks bright.
Great job Eduard. You are the world’s best model makers, bar none. Again that is my opinion. The Bf-109G-5 is now out and the G-14 can’t be far behind. I’m really looking forward to the Gustav series and the Avia S-199, maybe the Buchon. These are the world standard for the Gustav series, can the F and K be far behind? I certainly hope not. Please don’t forget the two seaters as well.
Thanks to Eduard and IPMS/USA for the review kit. You can obtain your kit by contacting Eduard directly at https://www.eduard.com . While you’re there join the Bunny Club for additional benefits and discounts. You can also get your kit at your local hobby shop or online retailer.
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